Academy National Invitational: Day Two

Nic Wise and Jai Lucas both bounced back from sub-par games on Wednesday - and things were the same for Oak Hill Academy at the second day of the Academy National Invitational in Houston.

HOUSTON – It was much of the same as Oak Hill pulled away in the second half for the second consecutive day. However, Nic Wise came out a different player on Thursday.

National Division

No. 22 Bellaire 59, LeFlore (Ala.) 56

Kingwood 50, Peabody (La.) 42

No. 21 Fairfax (Calif.) 57, No. 6 Neumann-Goretti (Pa.) 47

No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Va.) 76, Wheeler (Ga.) 56

Texas Division

Jesse Jones 60, Cornerstone Christian 51

Wheatley 79, Eisenhower 66

Alief Hastings 78, Aldine 74

No. 11 Westfield 52, Hightower 41

Johnny Mayhanne, SG, LeFlore – Arguably the best unsigned senior at the event. The 6-foot-5 swingman knocked down shots from the perimeter, used his length to get to the basket and also handled the ball well. Needs to get stronger, but finished with 18 points in a loss to Bellaire.

Nic Wise, PG, Kingwood – Less than 24 hours ago, he struggled from the field and looked like someone hard-pressed to be able to play at Arizona. However, he came back strong and was on target from the perimeter. He also does a great job passing in the open court and beating defensive pressure by himself. Scored 22 points and knocked down four key 3-pointers.

Lawrence Gilbert, F, Wheatley – The unsigned senior forward hasn't gotten much attention, but he's played well thus far. He is active on both ends and did a nice job putting it on the floor and getting to the foul line. Was 16-of-19 from the charity stripe and finished with 24 points and 10 boards.

Jeff Allen, PF, Oak Hill Academy – One of the most athletic frontcourt players in the country. Just gets after it; runs the court extremely well, rebounds and blocks shots. One of the "blue-collar" guys and a big-time get for Virginia Tech. Finished with 10 points and 7 boards, but the numbers don't tell the whole story of how he played.

Tywon Lawson, PG, Oak Hill – Didn't put on a show as he did the previous day, but did just what his team needed to pull away from Wheeler. Got to the basket and made things happen. Didn't shoot it well from the perimeter, but didn't shoot it much from outside, either. Scored 16 points and had 5 assists.

Brandon Brown, G, Aldine – He's not really a true point guard; he's a 5-10 shooting guard who can really light it up. He scored 35 in the loss to Alief Hastings.

Jai Lucas, PG, Bellaire – Bounced back from a rough shooting performance on Wednesday and finished with 17 points and 5 assists in a victory against LeFlore. Lucas did a nice job, especially in the second half, of making good decisions while picking his spots to score the ball.

Isaiah Rusher, C, Bellaire – Who? Once again, the long junior didn't show up. Actually, in this case, Rusher didn't arrive until halftime because of transportation issues. Rusher suffered a shoulder injury minutes after entering the game in the third quarter and was a non-factor.

Gary Johnson, PF, Aldine – It wasn't a typical Gary Johnson performance, but it would have been good enough for most players. This one probably ranked as a "7" on the Johnson scale. Did what he does well, which is rebound and score in the paint – but didn't do quite as much as usual. Wasn't as active and aggressive as normal.

Marcus Simmons, SG, Peabody – The biggest "stock-riser" of the tournament. Went from a virtual unknown to a high-major guy. Long, gets after it on the defensive end – and can score from the perimeter and also gets to the basket. Still needs to improve his handle.

Mike Singletary, SF, Kingwood – Playing out of position because of a lack of size, Singletary struggled and finished with just one field goal in the win against Peabody. It's tough to see whether he's got any perimeter game because he spends so much of his time on the low block.

Larry Davis, SF, Alief Hastings – Here's an underrated guy who does a little bit of everything. He can shoot it from the perimeter, slash to the basket and also gets his share of rebounds and defends. He finished with 25 points and was 5-of-10 from long distance.

Rick Jackson, PF, Neumann-Goretti – The Syracuse-bound big man had another solid performance, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the loss to Fairfax. Plays hard, is tough in the paint and also is capable of dominating on the glass.

Beas Hamga, PF, Cornerstone Christian – The 6-foot-11 Cameroon native was better on the offensive end – and once again, he was a force in the paint. He's banged up with ankle and back injuries, but still managed to put up 13 points and 14 rebounds in a loss to Jones High.

Samuel Hannes, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound senior swingman from Finland who is at Cornerstone Christian, struggled and was just 1-of-10 from the field. Hannes is a better shooter than he showed on Thursday, but isn't very athletic. Cornerstone coach Walter Webb mentioned that Oregon, Baylor, Cal and UNLV are all involved with Hannes – but we feel he's more of a mid-major player based on his performance this week. … LeFlore High produced former NBA player Antonio Lang. … Hastings junior Jeremy McCarty, a talented transfer from Westside, did not play in either of the team's first two games this week. … Fairfax senior swingman Jerren Shipp is the younger brother of UCLA guard Josh Shipp and former Cal standout Joe Shipp. The younger Shipp is considering Temple, UC-Santa Barbara, Loyola-Marymount and San Francisco. … Ja'Shon Hampton of Fairfax and Derrick Rivera of Neumann-Goretti are two of the best defensive players around. … Neumann-Goretti sophomore Jamal Wilson is athletic and can shoot the three – but he doesn't get a lot of opportunities with four talented upperclassmen around him. … Hightower 6-6 senior forward Michael Behrens suffered a stress fracture a year ago that kept him on the sidelines for much of the season. Academics will be a factor, but he's received interest from Houston, Colorado and Colorado State. … Hightower senior guard Chris Smith is the younger brother of Houston starting point guard Lanny Smith. … Westfield's Pierre Beasley is also a standout quarterback. … The best laugh of the night came when Oak Hill's Jeff Allen, chasing a loose ball on the sidelines, took out an entire table on a row with college coaches. One of the coaches was Charlotte's Delonte Hill, who recruited 49ers-bound Michael Beasley.

Jones High coach Barry Jones said that Texas-Corpus Christi is looking at three of his players: juniors Travis Dotson, DeAngelo Kay and Eric Rowe. … Bellaire 5-foot-9, 153-pound junior point guard Jai Lucas said his top five are Kentucky, Kansas, UConn, LSU and Oklahoma State. Bellaire coach Bruce Glover added Clemson, Virginia and Rice to that list. … LeFlore 6-foot-4 ½ junior point guard Chris Blakes said he has received interest from Auburn, Texas Tech and Penn State. Blakes had 13 points on Thursday. … Bellaire 6-foot-10, 235-pound junior big man Isaiah Rusher recited a list of Arizona, Duke, North Carolina, UConn and Kansas – but it's unlikely that any of those aforementioned schools are making a legitimate push for Rusher. According to a source close to the situation, Nebraska, UConn, Texas A&M and Houston are involved. … Wheatley High senior forward Lawrence Gilbert is looking at USC and Tulane. Gilbert came from Higgins High in New Orleans. … Wheatley 6-1, 180-pound senior guard Dewayne Reed is hearing from Texas A&M, Tulane, UTEP, DePaul, Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee and Colorado State. … Kingwood junior forward Mike Singletary mentioned Texas, Kentucky, Illinois, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech. … Aldine athletic seniors Dustin Hawkins and Brandon Brown are both getting looks from Texas-Corpus Christi and Tulane, according to coach Zeek Smith. … Fairfax 6-9 senior big man is looking at Loyola-Marymount, Boise State and Kent State, according to Fairfax coach Harvey Kitani. … Westfield 6-3 senior forward Cleveland Richard signed with Army. … Oak Hill reserve Billy Clark, a 6-5 senior, is getting looks from UC-Irvine, Cal-State Fullerton and Pepperdine, according to Oak Hill coach Steve Smith.

``You're 19 years old as a junior" – Oak Hill Academy's Bill Clark talking about teammate Michael Beasley.

Some of the colleges represented: Texas, Kentucky, Charlotte, Liberty, Miami, Auburn, Louisiana-Monroe, Virginia.

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